UN lashes out at governments for failing their citizens


New York : The UN General Assembly president Thursday criticised governments for failing their responsibility in building up a strong economy to protect their people’s living conditions.

Support TwoCircles

A one-day debate on the world economic crisis began at UN headquarters in New York with Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, leader of the 192-nation organisation, saying that the complex economic crisis has exposed failure by the dominant markets.

“What was once benignly described as ‘irrational exuberance’ is now exposed for what it was: unbridled greed and pervasive corruption enabled by governments that lost sight of their responsibility to protect their citizens,” he said in opening the debate.

“The world faces setbacks that are already causing untold suffering,” he said. “For some, the consequences are fatal.”

Former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan said last week he made policy mistakes that led to the current credit crunch.

He said a little tinkering of economic reform would not restore prosperity or confidence in markets around the world.

A task force set up by d’Escoto Brockmann, a former Nicaraguan Sandinista foreign minister in the 1980s, will set the tone for UN discussion on the financial crisis, a move welcomed by poor and developing countries that form the majority in the assembly.

Miguel d’Escoto said the global economy is not the “private dominion” of groups that are trend setters in the economy – the G-8, G-15 and G-20 – which are comprised of the world’s major economic powers.

He said a long-term solution to the crisis must now include the G-192, meaning the 192 UN members.

The debate was organised in small group discussions headed by prominent economists. The task force is headed by Joseph Stiglitz, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and a frequent critic of the Bush administration’s foreign and economic policies.